According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the best food sources of protein include a wide variety of choices. That means you can pick and choose which ones you want to include in your meal plan. Protein is important for virtually every function your body carries out, so you definitely don’t want to skimp on it. Fortunately, a deficiency is fairly rare. If you want to start including some of the best food sources of protein in your diet, check out these great options.
Duh, right? Meat is probably one of the best food sources of protein you’ll find. That includes any type of meat. Choose from beef, ham, lamb, chicken, bison, pork or turkey. You can find most of these items at supermarkets. Look for lean cuts to cut back on your saturated fat intake. Grill or bake your meats for a really flavorful meal you’ll love.
Did you know that eggs are a wonderful source of protein? That’s great because eggs are inexpensive, versatile and super easy to prepare. Have an omelet for breakfast, an egg salad sandwich for lunch or a plate of scrambled eggs and toast for dinner. No matter when you eat eggs, you’ll be getting a healthy dose of protein that goes along with a meal that tastes great.
3. Dairy Foods
Dairy foods are another prime source of protein. That includes cheese, milk, cottage cheese, yogurt and even ice cream. Anything made with milk counts! However, some options are high in fat and calories so you don’t want to go crazy with them. Adding a glass of milk to your day is an easy and delicious way to increase your overall protein intake. Yogurt is another one – eat it for breakfast or lunch.
If you love seafood as much as I do, you are definitely getting a good amount of protein when you eat it. For people who avoid red meat, seafood is a great alternative. Try salmon, tilapia, shrimp, crab, lobster, oysters and canned tuna. Just about any other type of fish you enjoy works too. My favorite is rainbow trout! Seafood is a great addition to your meal plans and is also good for your heart health in addition to being a great source of protein.
According to experts, just one-half cup of beans has as much protein as a one-ounce steak. Can you believe that? Beans are a great protein alternative for people who don’t eat meat. You can use beans to make burgers, burritos, tacos and a load of other items. You can also add beans to salads and soups for a protein packed addition to all your favorites.
6. Nuts and Seeds
I love adding nuts and seeds to my salads, and they also taste pretty great by the handful at snack time. Besides tasking wonderful, nuts and seeds are also a great source of protein. Lots of vegetarians and vegans rely on nuts and seeds to help them get plenty of protein in their diets. Whether you make trail mix or add them to your oatmeal, nuts and seeds are a healthy addition to anyone’s diet.
7. Soy Foods
Many vegetarians and vegans eat soy as a way to get enough protein. Even meat eaters can enjoy soy foods for their flavor and their nutrient profile. Some of the best options include tofu, veggie burgers and tempeh, says the USDA. Give them a try and let me know what you think.
What’s your favorite way to get plenty of protein? I would say that a steak or a rainbow trout filet are mine. Will you try one of these options as part of a healthy diet?